Wondering how to prepare for the Patent Bar for free? You have reached the right place. With some planning and handwork you can pass the patent bar without spending a dime on professional courses. As a practitioner in the field, and from experience, I can tell you how I prepared and passed the patent bar in the first attempt.
Before I begin, a customary disclaimer. The following is a suggestive studying method based on my experience and may (or may not) work for everybody. My suggestive studying method is not a replacement of commercial patent bar prep courses, and may be used as a supplemental method of studying, or to augment/test ones knowledge/skill.
Before I delve into details on how to prepare for the patent bar, an important note:
The Patent Bar Exam is Not Open-Book (In Practice)
Now you say, “But wait a second, it is!”
Technically, you’ll be correct, but practically speaking it is not. If you are going to rely on the inbuilt “search” feature, the chances are that you will fail!
First, the search feature is primitive to the extent that it becomes useless. Second, it is a time-trap. It will take you longer to search for an answer if you were to browse the MPEP. Use it only as a last resort once you’ve visited all the questions. Basically, prior to guessing.
To prepare for the patent bar, you need to memorize the entire guide or at least have a very good approximation as to the section of the MPEP where the information may reside.
How To Prepare For the Patent Bar Without Spending a Dime
Step 1: Use the mypatentbar.com website
The only resource every patent bar student should visit and bookmark is mypatentbar.com. This will be your “go-to” study guide (coffee is recommended, but optional). Note: I am not affiliated with the mypatentbar.com website in any way!
The goal is to become a sponge and absorb as much information as you can from this site. Start with the “Exam Questions and Concepts” Section. Once done, scroll to the bottom and start going over the comments (bottom up). Repeat the process with “Repeat Questions.”
Now you’ll need help in memorizing the answers. For this, let’s go to step 2.
Step 2: Searchable Version of the MPEP
When you encounter questions from the comments, I would suggest utilizing the free searchable MPEP available at https://www.clfip.com/ip/blog/mpep/. Read the usage suggestions and examples, and then type in the keywords from the questions encountered on the comments section.
Read the answer from the comment and verify the answer from the relevant section of the MPEP you found using the searchable tool. But do not stop there, read the entire subsection of the result using our MPEP search.
As with any exam you will realize that certain sections of the MPEP are “examination” favorites. You will also notice that variations of the same question appear quite often. Thus, reading the entire subsection helps. Also, you will notice that our searchable version of the MPEP only presents a relevant subsection — unlike other versions found of the USPTO’s website where the whole section is dumped to the user. The searchable version thus makes studying more manageable along with an easier determination of the “examination” favorite subsections of the MPEP.
If you follow my method, you should be able to memorize most of the subject matter. Is memorizing possible? Yes. Those who have taken (or will eventually take) a bar exam would realize that memorization of 29+ subjects in a close booked exam (the California bar) is possible. I have done it, and so have countless others. By implementing similar techniques you should be able to memorize most of the subject matter presented in the MPEP. I’m sure those with financial interests in patent bar courses will disagree or make it seem as if this method is difficult, so take their (and my) advice with a grain of salt.